Tax returns on hold till Jan. 30

Tax returns Jan. 30? Don't bother trying to file your tax returns early -- and don't count on a quick refund check to help cover holiday expenses. The IRS won't start processing tax returns until Jan. 30.

Clay Bennett / The Christian Science Monitor / File
Don't try to file early! Tax returns won't be processed until Jan. 30, announced the Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday.

Tax returns won't be processed before Jan. 30, announced the Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday. The IRS says Congress's delay in changing federal tax laws should mean only a short delay for most taxpayers to file their 2012 returns.

More than 120 million taxpayers — about 80 percent of all filers — should be able to start filing their federal tax returns on Jan. 30, the agency announced Tuesday. Others will have to wait until late February or March to file because the agency needs time to update and test its systems.

Those who will have to wait include people claiming residential energy credits, depreciation of property or general business credits, since those require more complicated programming of the IRS's computers. The filing season had been slated to start Jan. 22 but was delayed by the last-minute tax package passed by Congress on New Year's Day.

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